A/N: Dear Readers: This is the prologue for "A Million Holes Poked In The Soul – Part Two". There is a brief synopsis and the epilogue of "Part One". The synopsis is for those who haven't or don't want to read the first part of the story. I was debating back and forth, if I should do this or not, but in the end I decided it would be a reasonable idea. I do recommend to read "Part One" before starting this story as "Part Two" is a direct continuation and refers to events and features characters from earlier on. But as I said, if you're not into reading a pre-Sandbrook/Broadchurch story, I get that. So, for those who need a synopsis, please read on. For those who want to read "Part One", don't go on, it will spoil it for you. And for those who have read "Part One" you may skip the synopsis.

I also wanted to thank everyone again who followed Alec Hardy's story so far and who will continue on. I hope not to disappoint you.


A Million Holes Poked In The Soul

Prologue


Synopsis of "Part One"

At the beginning of "Part One" we meet Alec Hardy just coming off a case that has been testing his abilities to stay emotionally detached. His home life has been strained over something as simple as a wedding invitation. Hardy has been chosen to be best man at his oldest friend's wedding, someone Tess doesn't like. Daisy is excited to go but Tess is against it. Hardy is disappointed over Tess' refusal. Their plans to go to the wedding are being seriously jeopardized by sudden events affecting both daughter and father alike. Over the course of a few days, Hardy's world will be turned upside down when he learns about his serious health problem. After some trials and tribulations, Daisy and Hardy make it to the wedding. His relationship with Tess has been suffering throughout this time, but he finally finds the courage to confront his demons and makes a plan to tell his wife, how much his life will have to change. He never will get round to do it though as the morning after the wedding, he's called in to take the lead in the investigation of the disappearance of two teenaged girls.

The story also introduces a few important people in Hardy's life. There is CS Edward Baxter, his boss and friend. They have a long history of friendship and support, built upon their mutual respect and shared feelings of fatherhood and love for their children. Hardy will meet a young doctor, Emily Abbott, who will become his support and confidant in his struggle with his heart condition. And last but not least, we meet Duncan and his family. Duncan is Hardy's oldest friend, going back to when they were teenaged boys. They have been through many ups and downs and keep each other grounded.

Please find below the epilogue of "Part One" and then on to "Part Two"…


"The End Is The Beginning"

The rattling noise of the phone buzzer on the glass table stopped only to resume after a brief pause. Hardy squinted into the sunny morning light. His whole body hurt from the trials of the previous day. He stretched out his cramped up legs and propped himself up. The phone had stopped.

He sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the sofa. He ran his fingers through his hair which was sticking up in all directions. The dress shirt he had not taken off last night was damp with sweat and clinging to his body uncomfortably.

It was too early to wake up everyone with taking a shower so he decided to make breakfast instead, the only meal he was any good at cooking. He tossed his phone on the kitchen table without paying attention to the missed calls.

His mind lingered on the argument he and Tess had after coming back from the wedding. Again, he thought she was right about certain things. He felt relieved that he had finally told her why it hurt him so much that she didn't come with them. It was a start and today he was going to tell his family about his health problems and find a way to deal with it together.

He had just swallowed his morning pills, when the phone buzzed again.

Bloody hell, it was Sunday morning. Couldn't they leave it alone? He eventually answered.

An irate Baxter didn't waste any time. "Hardy? God damn you. What the hell took you so long to pick up the bloody phone? I need you to get your sorry arse here immediately."

Baxter's tendency to use foul language usually rose exponentially with the stress he was feeling. Hardy frowned.

"Sir, what's going on?" Trepidation made his Scottish accent sound more like a growl.

"There are two teenaged girls missing and I need all hands on deck. You better get yourself and Tess to the station before I have to come and get you."

"On our way, sir."

He hung up the phone. Two teenaged girls, just like Daisy. He swallowed hard. A feeling of dread settled in. He prayed to every god out there that it would only be a case of two children running away and not his worst nightmare.

He balled his shaking hands into fists and took in a few calming breaths. And with every fiber in his body determined to find those girls, he made his way upstairs to wake up Tess.

To be continued…